SA based migrant organisations have called on Johannesburg mayor Herman Mashaba to withdraw his statements on illegal immigrants and submitted a memorandum at the his office, following his statements that illegal migrants are often associated with crime (yesterday).
Mashaba says that immigrants came into the city illegally and are holding the country to ransom, enraging the city’s migrant community.
Chairperson of the African Diaspora Forum, Mark Gbaffou says they expected Mashaba to show leadership.
“In South Africa, because officials want to use whatever they cannot deliver it’s an excuse to blame the migrant community. A criminal is a criminal whether you are South African or not.
“We were surprised because when the mayor mentioned about illegal migrants being criminals he didn’t mention how many South Africans are involved in criminal activities. We were surprised that he could finish his sentence by saying many migrants are involved in crime,” Gbaffou says.
The diaspora community has labelled the mayor’s statements as reckless.
ADF’s Emeka Johnson says ” This is not the change we were promised. This is not the change South Africa demands and wants. His statement to us is akin to hate speech and such hate speech has caused havoc in parts of Africa.”
One of the demands is that he retract his statement and apologise. The mayor’s office says it will study the demands before commenting.
Mashaba made a public plea to the national government to deal with the issue of illegal immigrants who flock to the country’s big cities and has refused to apologise for his utterance regarding illegal immigrants. – SABC